Sidelined Dan Halsey has backed the Mildenhall Fen Tigers to end their long wait for silverware by lifting the National Trophy in his absence.
The West Row-based outfit will face the Plymouth Devils at the St Boniface Arena tonight (7.15pm) before entertaining the Devon side at Mildenhall Stadium for the return leg on Sunday (3pm) as they bid to win the competition for the first time since 2014.
Although Halsey will play no part in either fixture after being ruled out for the remainder of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament rupture, the 29-year-old believes his team-mates still have more than enough firepower to triumph over the two legs.
“They have got a couple of injuries with Steve Boxall and Benji Compton out and we have still got a lot of quality left in our team,” said the long-term Fen Tigers’ rider.
“If Connor Mountain is back, together with him, Jon Armstrong and Jordan Jenkins we would have a good chance.
“We have struggled in reserve lately but we have definitely got a chance of scoring some good points there with young Drew Kemp, and hopefully Danno (Verge) can return all guns blazing.
“I am confident we can lift it. The last couple of years the club has not really reached its potential.
“It would be nice to give Kevin (Jolly, promoter) a reward for the team he has put together over the course of this season.”
Despite his injury being far worse than what was initially feared, Halsey feels that he has already made some small steps of progression ahead of visiting the surgeon again next week.
“To be fair I was told that I couldn’t walk on it for about three weeks but I am walking about on one crutch and I can just about hobble about,” said Halsey.
“The pain has not really been a problem but I have quite a high pain threshold and I’ve got pretty much all the movement in it.
“I’ve got a lot of physio over the next few months to build the muscle up around it.
“I’ve not seen the surgeon since the operation but I will go back to see them Monday when I will find out more.”
With Halsey set for a prolonged spell on the sidelines, he has stressed that it is too early to tell if he will be back riding next season.
“It’s all up in the air and I am not 100 per cent sure I am going to ride next year,” said Halsey.
“There have been a few times this season where I have not enjoyed myself but then there have been times where I really have enjoyed it.”